When it’s clear that you can’t improve the situation, it’s time to walk.
Theme: Masculine Authority and Responsibility
Author’s Note: This post is based on previous comments from readers. Links to the original comments can be found in the text.
Length: 1,700 words
Reading Time: 9 minutes
It’s too easy to blame everything on Feminism (2022-8-10) observed how various voices in the Manosphere tend to blame “Feminism” as a catharsis, and thereby stop short of examining the deeper cause-and-effect dynamics. As an exemplary case study of this phenomenon, I referred to a post I wrote in response to one from Deep Strength, and how the good men at RPChristians reacted to this. (Click on the link above to read the full account.)
In making this observation, I seem to have overlooked a different cause-and-effect dynamic — the motives for blaming “Feminism” as a catharsis. This post will break this angle further apart.
Reasons for Blaming an Abstract Entity*
* The Abstract Entity specifically referred to in this discussion is Feminism, which is a synechdoche for another abstract entity — sin. But the same dynamics apply for placing blame on nearly any abstract entity.
One way to assess a reactive situation is to recognize that there are (at least) three kinds of blame.
- Name it, blame it, and shame it, to motivate others to change their behavior.
- Catatonically affixing blame as a catharsis, but with no follow up action, which is akin to a complaint.
- Affixing blame as a judgment on an identified cause, and then taking action to address the cause.
The observable difference between 2 and 3 is whether an action is identified as a potential remedy and acted upon.
There are several reasons why an action is not taken. Aside from subjective reasons like apathy, aversion, bitterness, cowardice, contempt, false faith, lack of confidence, laziness, solipsism, etc., these reasons include…
- The causes are diffuse, legion, and/or profound, and therefore a clearly remediating course of action cannot be readily identified.
- The causes are evident, yet there is still no perceived action that can be taken.
- Taking action requires a concerted effort by the larger group, in which case the action requires a director, leader, or pastor.
- The responsibility for taking action rests on others, i.e. the leaders, and these individuals are unwilling to take any effective action for whatever reason. (This is another area of motives that could be investigated.)
- Realizing that it’s not the right time to take action. Other things need to transpire first, which involves waiting patiently, watching vigilantly, praying diligently, and preparing one’s self to take action when the right time comes. Discernment and faith are needed to know when this is the case.
Any of these reasons (except 5) may explain why people fall back on complaining and doing nothing. However, this blog is a virtual think tank for coming up with actions and strategies, so I won’t be satisfied with stopping there.
In dealing with a difficult situation, the third approach is obviously the best — Affixing blame as a judgment on an identified cause, and then taking action to address the cause. But if we don’t have anything actionable that we can actually do to fix our churches, marriages, etc., and the pastors and leaders fail to respond (point 4), then it logically reduces to the second response — Catatonically affixing blame as a catharsis, but no follow up action — simply because there is no follow up action to address the cause.
Trying to beat a dead horse will only lead to frustration.
The Right Approach Depends on the Context
Within marriage, the husband needs to make progress in establishing his domain, and in building a Biblical marriage by maintaining his Headship over his family and his sexual authority over his wife. This has been a focused subject of the Christian Manosphere for at least the past 3-4 years.
Within the church, however, a concerted effort is needed among the congregants. To do this, the pastor(s) and church elders are the key players for spearheading a “movement” or a “revival”.
Derek posed the question,
“We do [need good leaders], yes, but if that isn’t possible, what will we do instead?”
“…what do we do about the men who cannot be — or are not called to be — church leaders? Or perhaps more to the point, how do you build good Christian leaders in an environment designed to suppress them?”
The answer is that every Christian man is called to be (1) a leader of himself, (2) a leader of others, if so called by God and/or the necessity of the situation, and (3) a leader of his own family (if he has one). This requires a man to trust in God, as he is essentially swimming upstream alone.
In dealing with Feminism and the corruption of sin within the church and/or marriage, there are three general leadership stances that a man can take, depending on the context. I’ll call these stances (1) establishing a domain of leadership authority, and (2) playing the missionary, and (3) shaking the dust off your shoes. Descriptions follow.
1. Establishing a Domain of Leadership Authority
This leadership can be expressed in a variety of ways.
- Identify and establish your domain of leadership. Gather a suitable group of like-minded men under your wing, and guide and mentor them. Find trusted friends who are willing to cooperate and augment your leadership. Find a regular meeting place and get hands-on help to organize your group.
- Spearheading a gathering of men that is led by another man of greater capability and repute, and encouraging these men to follow his lead.
- Married men might make themselves less dependent on external leadership (e.g. Church services, Pastors, sunday school, etc.) and provide the necessary instruction, leadership, and teaching to his family by himself.
If a sizeable number of men can stand up to church leaders in unison, then those leaders will be more willing to listen. If church leaders still won’t listen, then you’ve still got a band of brothers.
2. Playing the Missionary
Playing the Missionary involves targeting specific individuals to be won over to the truth behind one’s cause. In this stratagem, the first and most important step is to discern the spiritual disposition of the targeted individuals.
The actions are bifurcated depending on the spiritual state of those targeted.
The Biblical directives, which include both tactical and strategic approaches for dealing with an erring brother to remove the cause of sin (as described in Matthew 18:15-35), can only bring a positive outcome if those sinning are already of a repentant nature.
For the readily repentant Christian, using these tactical and strategic actions (i.e. Matthew 18:15-35) is indeed the best approach. Here, the repentant Christian should be gently corrected, and if this fails to wake him up to the truth, we are to take a couple brothers to confront him.
But when these measures fail, we must conclude that the target is among the unbelievers and so we must treat the problem as a secular one, to which the solution is indirect: the Great Commission. For the non-Christian and the hardened non-repentant Christian, the next step is to foster their repentance as one of the lost.
3. Shaking the Dust off Your Shoes
Men who continually gripe and do nothing may have a credible viewpoint if their churches are totally subsumed by Feminism and they have given up on it and have moved on, even if only in their minds. I believe this would account for a high percentage of men who are leaving the church.
Men who find themselves taking this approach would do well to observe the following directions given to missionaries.
13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!Matthew 10:13-15 (NKJV)
Also, pray for more discernment, adopt a more mystical approach, and seek the consolation and leading of the Holy Spirit to guide you through this difficult period of transition.
Leaving the established group and looking elsewhere for fellowship doesn’t need to happen in bad blood, but when the crux of the division is about Feminism, sin, or heresy, then it may be necessary to publicly raise a fuss on your way out the door. In fact, in some cases it may be better to do so, as this will call attention to your cause and serve as a judgment on the unrepentant which God can use to convict and teach others if the Holy Spirit is willing.
For men leaving the church under these conditions, shaking the dust off your shoes (figuratively and perhaps literally as well) is one formality that must not be neglected. I believe that if men take the effort to do so, they will be able to claim a renewed power of conviction and faith.
Is the solution for you and I (who do not run our churches) to go to the pastor, ask him (or the other men and women like him) to repent and call the unrepentant to task, and then leave the church when it doesn’t happen? Because that’s likely where most in the sphere have ended up: either sticking around in disobedient fake or anti-churches or no longer attending those same churches.
Or put another way, are we trying to take back our churches or are we just admitting that they are lost, cutting our losses, and moving on?
I suspect that for the issues concerning men that are often discussed here, the vast majority of targets will fall into the second category, thus making our actions (here) of limited worth on the wider scale.
This isn’t to say that you should not work to fight against the structures of sin’s existence (e.g. working to ban abortion; resisting demands to close churches), but that such actions will not and cannot solve the core problem, which resides within the heart of man.
No matter which of the above three approaches a man might take, all of them require definitive action.
Note to the affected men at reddit/RPChristians: Go to the steps of the church that has rejected you. Take your shoes off and pound the soles on the steps. Let this definitive action become your catharsis. Then you will find a freshly renewed life in the Spirit and a more robust vitality for living.
- Σ Frame (Red Pill Apostle): Developing Masculinity (2021-12-6)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Are you able to pay the cost of forgiving others? (2022-4-29)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Frustrated Collective Catharsis as an Incentive for Social Unrest (2022-7-29)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Biblical Adage of “Dying to Self” is not Ego Ablation (2022-8-5)
- Okrahead: Pray Our Way Out (2022-8-16)